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New to geocaching

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I am a newbie to Geocaching, infant I am intending to find my first cache tomorrow. My plan is to get both my children into it and active outdoors. I have been review GPS units and am not sure which would be the best buy as a first purchase (I intend to use my iPhone to begin with). My thoughts are the leaning towards Garmin Etrex 10 or tithe Etrex 20. Any suggestions or advice would be appreciated?

Many thanks.

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Hi and welcome!


Before you head out make sure you read the really useful information about going out for the first time especially with kids like looking for larger caches with a difficulty rating of 1 or 1.5.


Now to your question, whatever GPS you get will be a steep (and at times) very frustrating learning experience. Again there is a lot of useful advice contained in these forums.


Do not expect to switch it on, head out and expect the unit to take you right to that little hidden Tupperware box! If it is a choice between the Etrex 10 or 20 I would say go for the Etrex 20. We had a 10 to start with and it was great but it doesn't have a helpful map so when we started to get a little more adventurous we would often find ourselves on the wrong side of the river or the wrong side of the railway line which then involved a long detour.

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GPS choice notwithstanding, I would put a little thought into taking the kids caching if you've never done it yourself. When you're first starting out you may find it more challenging than you expected Many folks strike out on their first try because they just don't know exactly what they're looking for or how it might be hidden Frustrating enough for an adult but really disappointing for the kids, who were expecting a cool treasure hunt.


A couple of things you can do to increase your chances of a fun, successful outing:


Consider going out without the kids first and finding a few so you'll have some idea what you're looking for. Even better, go find a few good ones and then take the kids to those same caches so you'll know exactly where they are and the kids won't be disappointed.


Study the cache page carefully before going out. Know what size container you are looking for as this makes a big difference in where it might be hidden. Also, micro caches aren't large enough to hold trinkets and such, so the kids might find them boring. It also helps to read some of the recent logs....if it hasn't been found recently, it could possibly be missing. It happens sometimes.


Good luck!

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Don't buy a GPSr. Well, not yet anyway. You can find loads of caches very easily with just an iPhone or even just with Google Maps. Save yourself £££ until you know for sure that plastic box hunting is for you.


Welcome, by the way :)

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I agree, no need to go for a GPS yet, many people have found hundreds if not thousands with the iPhone, it would also be a shame to plump for an entry level GPS now, only to find that you're really gripped by the game and want an all singing & all dancing model come Christmas. Another suggestion is to see if there are any events near you that you could get to, there will probably be hoards of cachers there willing to show off their own favourite GPS and you should pick up plenty of ideas and tips.


Most importantly, have fun :)

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Of the two GPS units, you may be better off going for the 20 as it has more memory...


Do try with the phone first.

But the battery wont last long!


You may be better trying to find the cache before you go with your children.

If you take them and can't find the cache... :( Good way to put them off!


Don't expect too much in the way of 'Treasure' very few caches these days contain things to swap... But it's worthwhile having something with you, just in case!


Do go for the easier/larger caches to start with.


Good luck! :)


www.follow-the-arrow.co.uk is a good reference site for info, especially UK related.

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